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Warren Spector on Game Prices

Gamesindustruy.biz quotes famed designer Warren Spector expressing the opinion that the games industry needs to work on bringing down prices. Here are some quotes conveying his thoughts on the topic:

"We've been a niche medium that over-charges for its product and therefore generates a lot of revenue which makes us a little bigger than Hollywood, which is crazy."

"The key is removing barriers to the creation of content and removing barriers to the consumption of content. Allowing people access to lots of it, at the lowest possible price where you can make a profit."

"I've always had this anecdotal belief that there's this magic price point for entertainment. And it's not a per dollar charge. No one thinks about how many hours they're going to get out of their entertainment dollars."

"If I've got a 20 dollar bill in my pocket I can go buy a book, go to a movie, but I can't buy a game. I can buy a CD, I can do so much even now, but you cannot buy a game."

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45. Re: He's still talking.... Mar 30, 2009, 15:41 Warskull
 
He's absolutely right, game pricing needs to adapt. Games are priced like they are still an extremely niche market. Publishers have a tendency to overcharge and under deliver. Not all games are worth $50-60, in fact few are. There are a number of games I can recall skipping because of their price. I would look at them, be interested, but not be willing to risk $60. At $30, I would have picked them up. Game prices take far too long to drop these days too.

Games being overpriced and rarely worth the full price is why the second hand market is so strong. The game industry needs to start making more lower budget, lower priced games. If they make a pile of crap, throwing another couple million at it isn't going to make it a good game.

In the long run, I think the companies that do not heed this advice will end up extinct. Steam has already proven you can make a killing if you price more aggressively.
 
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